Answer the following questions after reading the article on attorneys' fees. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.
1. Since mediation is cheaper, attorneys should include provisions for binding mediation in their fee agreements.
2. One of the benefits of arbitration is that it precludes a client from filing a malpractice claim.
3. Arbitration decisions may be enforced even if the decision causes substantial injustice.
4. All-purpose arbitration clauses are permitted only with new clients.
5. While dispute resolution mechanisms should be part of the terms and conditions of a fee agreement, binding fee arbitration clauses should not.
6. A lawyer may ask a client to agree to mandatory fee arbitration in writing.
7. A lawyer and a client may agree that arbitration shall be binding after a dispute over costs has arisen.
8. A client and a lawyer may agree that arbitration of a legal malpractice dispute shall be binding before the client becomes aware of alleged legal malpractice.
9. Ethical responsibilities for full disclosure are not as strict if the client is highly schooled in business affairs and a sophisticated user of legal services.
10. If terms are written in type which is smaller than 10-point, such terms must be written in red.
11. When adding an arbitration clause to an existing client's fee agreement, an attorney should advise a client to seek the advice of independent counsel.
12. When adding an arbitration clause to an existing client's fee agreement, it does not have to be done in writing.
13. Your client's failure to read an arbitration provision carefully will result in revocation of the agreement to arbitrate.
14. A lawyer may change the terms and conditions of a fee agreement or engagement letter without notice to the client.
15. The failure to advise a client in writing that a binding arbitration provision waives the client's right to a jury trial will result in automatic revocation of the arbitration agreement.
16. Lawyers should try to create a presumption of arbitrability through all-purpose arbitration clauses.
17. Any ambiguity in an arbitration clause drafted by an attorney should be construed against the attorney.
18. The ideal time for the lawyer to add an arbitration clause to an agreement is after the commencement of representation.
19. There is no time or situation in which an attorney may bargain at arm's length with a client or prospective client.
20. The civil presumption of undue influence applies to non-fee clauses within an engagement letter.